Macron: Stop Relying On U.S. For EU Defence

President Macron proposes single EU defence plansPresident Macron proposes single EU defence plans

By Israel Rafalovich (Brussels) | Relaunching his diplomatic agenda after his leadership ambitions suffered a blow when his Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot resigned, French President Emmanuel Macron called for the EU to stop relying on the United States for its military defence. He pushed for a fresh EU integration and announced that in the coming months he will put new proposals to boost EU defence cooperation.

The main reason for the French move is that the transatlantic relations are changing these days to the worst. During an official visit to Finland President Macron told an audience of diplomats, lawmakers and international relations experts that the EU can no longer rely on the U.S. for its security and underlined that it up to the EU to guarantee its security and called on the EU to seek a “strategic autonomy”.

He further called on the European Union to rethink the terms of the European security architecture with Russia which is in the EU’s interest to maintain stability in Europe. An EU defence and security union that could guarantee the European Unions security and prosperity.

The EU needs a fresh thinking on security, a thinking that should be out of the box.

The new security order can only come to life with new ideas. The European Union needs to reformulate the EU security as well as the security needs that the Union would face in the future. Security Experts in Brussels have said that a much bolder and more realistic vision would be to scrap NATO and create a new security architecture for the European Union.

They pointed out, that today there is a misplaced loyalty to NATO that projects a false illusion of security. In order to reach this “strategic autonomy” Macron proposed “cooperation reinforced almost automatically, which will mean that, for member states who agree with the reform, we could have a real solidarity of intervention if one state was attacked.”It should resemble article 5, referring to NATO defence clause, that determines that an attack on one member state is an attack on all. Nine European Union states signed up in June to a French plan for a European intervention group, including the U.K., which backs the measure as a way to maintain strong security ties with the EU after Brexit.

Macron’s plans will likely find the support of Germany. France and Germany have both backed the idea of a joint response force and have announced plans to develop a fighter jet together.

About the Author

Israel Rafalovich
Israel Rafalovich is a journalist now based in Brussels who has over 50 years of experience in Tel-Aviv, Brussels, Bonn and Washington, DC. He covers Europe and the European institutions and writes a weekly column on International Relations.